Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Exit Nothing

by Pat King
KUBOA 2012

This is a fun and warm short novel. The first chapter or two are a little deceptive - the vibe is dreamy and gothy. Then the tone changes and things get more rollicking. I was reminded of the honest, straight-up style of "Jesus' Son" (Denis Johnson), and maybe "Praise" (Andrew McGahan).

The narrative is not chronological and consists of short adventures taken arbitrarily from the young narrator's life. He loves two cities - Philadelphia and Balitmore, and two girls - Anne and Kaye. The other recurring character is a guy known only as the "Mad Poet".

My only criticism is that despite a lot of drinking and smoking the story still feels a little light and fluffy. I would have liked to see a bit more grime and craziness. On the other hand it was refreshing to read about a guy who likes to go to poetry readings with his girlfriends.

I found this free on smashwords! 

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